A snapshot of the field today • Public relations is a 20th-century phenomenon, barely 100 years old. • In the 21st century, the field is evolving and improving every day. • Today, most new professionals possess superior intellect and experience.
How did we get here? Major 20th century trends: • Growth of big institutions • Heightened public awareness and media sophistication • Societal change, conflict, and confrontation • Growth of global media, public opinion, and democracy • Dominance of the Internet
Yet, PR has ancient roots • Farm bulletins from 1800 B.C in Iraq • Greek sophists and oratory skills • Roman persuasive techniques in war • Pope Gregory XV and propaganda
A young democracy:Early American experience • PR’s Role in the Revolutionary War • Boston Tea Party • Federalist Papers • The Bill of Rights
The First Amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the rights of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Why was this constitutional amendment so central to the development of PR in America?
Later American Experience Press agentry takes hold in the 1830s with Amos Kendall, the first presidential press secretary, serving under Andrew Jackson. Kendall: • wrote speeches • wrote news releases • conducted public opinion polls • produced an administration newsletter
Later American Experience • Circus master P.T. Barnum gains notoriety with written and verbal PR techniques. • Barnum staged bizarre media events and generated coverage of circus performers. • Love him or hate him, Barnum pioneered publicity techniques that are still used today.
Emergence of the robber barons • As people flocked to cities, big business dominated industry. • William Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller controlled the fortunes of thousands. • “The public be damned!” attitude ruled. • Seeds of discontent were sown far and wide.
Enter the Muckrakers • Upton Sinclair attacks the meat packing industry with “The Jungle” • Ida Tarbell writes “History of the Standard Oil Company” • “McClure’s” magazine strikes out at industry
What is the connection between the robber barons, the muckrakers, and the rise of public relations in the late 19th century? Now it’s your turn……
The father of modern public relations Ivy Ledbetter Lee entered PR work in 1903. Lee: • based his work on honesty and candor • “The public be informed” • emphasized news value over ads or publicity stunts • believed companies must strive to earn public confidence
Public relations goes to work in government • WWI: President Wilson creates the Creel Committee to mobilize public opinion in WWI • WWII: The Office of War Information spreads the U.S. cause around the world
The counseling era Edward Bernays enters the field in 1913 and becomes the first true “public relations scholar.” Bernays: • taught the first PR course at NYU • wrote the first seminal works in public relations, including “Crystallzing Public Opinion” • Helped pave the way for women in PR with wife Doris Fleischman
Corporations • As 20th century rolled on, big business came back into style. • Smart companies such as General Electric, General Motors and AT&T learned that it takes both words and actions to earn a good reputation. • PR legend Arthur W. Page became AT&T’s first public relations vice president in 1927.
A question for you: What were Arthur Page’s five principles for successful corporate public relations? How well do they apply to today’s business world?
Public relations comes of age • Growth of large institutions • Heightened public awareness, media sophistication • Societal change, conflict, and confrontations • Growing power of global media, public opinion and democracy • Dominance of the Internet
Public Relations Education • 200 Communication and Journalism programs offer concentrated studies in public relations: • Up from 12 schools in l951. • The Public Relations Society of America, organized in l947, boasts 20,000 members in 117 chapters nationally. • The Public Relations Student Society of America, formed in l968, has 6,500 student members at 220 colleges and universities.
Now it’s your turn…… Revisit the PR greats of the 20th century online in the Museum of Public Relations at: www.prmuseum.com